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US PG&E expands number of Northern California customers to be affected by outages to 940,000

02:30  27 october  2019
02:30  27 october  2019 Source:   latimes.com

These 3 men decide when PG&E shuts off power to millions

  These 3 men decide when PG&E shuts off power to millions Infuriated Californians who lost power in PG&E's wildfire safety shut-offs earlier this month have been wondering: Who exactly made the final call to cut power? The three names were revealed in a filing made to California utility regulators Thursday. The report indicated that the three men are Michael Lewis, senior vice president of electric operations, Sumeet Singh, vice president of asset and risk management, and Ahmad Ababneh, vice president of electric operations on major projects and programs.

Customers in that county were affected by the shutdown. 'Their answer to everything is to just shut Although PG & E says only 38, 000 San Jose accounts will be affected , that could translate to as The California Department of Transportation has been working with the utility company to secure backup

Pacific Gas and Electric Company is shutting off power for 940 , 000 homes and businesses in The weekend outage is the second major shutoff by PG & E this month, after the company two "This wind event is forecast to be the most serious weather situation that Northern and Central California has

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Pacific Gas & Electric has raised its estimate of the number of people in Northern California who will have to go without electricity Saturday night in the hope of preventing high winds from downing live power lines and sparking fires.

PG&E plans to preemptively cut-off power to some 940,000 customers in 36 counties, officials tweeted Saturday morning. That’s up 90,000 from the company’s previous estimate.

Power will stop flowing to some customers as early as 2 p.m., with hot, dry, windy conditions expected to effect service throughout the weekend, officials said.

Saturday’s announcement comes after the Kincade fire in Sonoma County grew overnight to 25,000 acres while firefighters struggled to get more control over the blaze before strong winds kicked up Saturday afternoon. Officials also expanded the evacuation zone in that county to include 50,000 more residents.

a sign above a store front at night: Patrons sit at candle-lit tables at Reel and Brand in Sonoma, Calif., on October 9, 2019, during a planned power outage by the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) utility company.© BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS Patrons sit at candle-lit tables at Reel and Brand in Sonoma, Calif., on October 9, 2019, during a planned power outage by the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) utility company.

PG&E, which has 5.4 million electric customers and provides power to 16 million Californians, said earlier it was prepared to shut off power to more than 2 million people in the region over the weekend amid forecasts for one of the worst periods of fire weather.

“This system will likely be the strongest event of the year from a wind perspective,” the utility said on its website. “Federal forecast agencies are in alignment that this will be a high-risk weather event.”

The cause of the Kincade fire is still under investigation, but some suspicion is already turning to transmission lines owned by embattled PG&E. The utility said Thursday that one of its transmission lines experienced problems Wednesday night around the area where the fire broke out.

In a mandatory report sent to the California Public Utilities Commission, the company said one of its workers noticed that the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection had taped off the area. PG&E said Cal Fire also pointed out a “broken jumper on the same tower.”

PG&E had been shutting off power to residents to avoid fires sparked by electric lines.

Downed power lines have been linked to disastrous, deadly wild fires in California in recent years.

Investigators blamed a downed PG&E line for the Camp fire last November, which burned more than 153,000 acres, destroyed 19,000 buildings and killed 85 people in and around the town of Paradise.

Meanwhile, local police agencies and governments in the East Bay began sending strings of texts warning residents early Saturday when they would lose power. Each warning gave a different time. By Saturday, residents had been told their power would be out by 10 p.m. Saturday, then 8 p.m, 7 p.m. and finally 5 p.m. The times changed with each update in wind forecasts.

Moraga Hardware & Lumber told a local television station that it had been expecting to receive a new shipment of lanterns and batteries Saturday morning. The news spread on online neighborhood forums. Before 8 a.m., lines had formed at the store. Customers gladly paid $53.51 for a small battery-operated lantern and an 8 pack of “D” batteries.

The planned shutdown sparked plenty of grumbling about PG&E, but it was tempered by the knowledge that residents in Sonoma County and in Santa Clarita to the south were losing their homes, not just their electricity.

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©2019 Los Angeles Times

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PG&E and Southern California Edison have turned off power to minimize fires. It hasn't worked. What will? .
Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison have cut off power to minimize wildfire risk. Yet the wildfires haven't stopped. What now?The embattled energy giant has been repeatedly castigated by the public and government leaders for its role in the state’s devastating wildfires the last three years, and for its clumsy attempt at preventing them this fall with mass power outages.

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